We've all started on local languages now, and I think I'm starting to get a little confused. Whenever all of us trainees get together, we speak English. During our technical sessions, sometimes with our families, and if we go food shopping, we speak French. When we're greeting fellow Burkinabè or even in our families, we speak Mooré. My family is Peulh (another ethnic group in BF) so they speak Fulfulde (even if I can only understand a word or two). Since I'm heading to the Southwest of BF, I'm learning Dioula and will also be learning basic phrases for another language called Lobiri. Insane!! And none of these languages sound the same at all...by no means do I think I'll be completely fluent in the last ones I listed, but all of them are starting to mix in my head a bit!
Back to training being the homestretch, we'll be conducting Life Skills sessions (decision-making, HIV/AIDS sensibilizations, etc.) at Model School next week and it's a little nerve-wracking but I'm still excited for it. We just got some practice doing radio shows and actually recorded our own radio program at the local station here in Ouahigouya. So hilarious! Doing a radio show is a possible secondary activity at site to sensibilize people on specific issues or whatnot. We're also talking more and more about the potential activities we can do at site from English clubs or girls' camps to building school gardens...literally, the list is endless!! On a more personal note, we're all really excited to break the confines of a rigid schedule everyday and live on our own terms while at site, most especially, cooking for ourselves. We got a cookbook of things to make with limited ingredients/resources and I'm excited to get started ASAP! I've been a little more pensive now and take my time on those bike rides back to village, soaking in the African landscape of northern Burkina.
As I mentioned before, in less than 3 weeks we become official Peace Corps Volunteers...our Swear-In Ceremony is set for August 25th at the US Ambassador's Residence in Ouagadougou and it's supposed to be this extravagant celebration with ministers from the Burkinabè government, dignitaries, PC staff and other PC Volunteers! A lot of us are getting complets (outfits) made -- including me! I've had a fabric and outfit in mind and am hoping it turns out the way I want it. I went to the marché to buy the dark blue, shiny fabric, went to the tailor to get my measurements and voilà! My blog entry on Swear-In will definitely have pictures.
On another note, it'll definitely be bittersweet leaving my host family. I'm trying to spend as much time in village as possible to enjoy my experience. It's interesting being plopped into a completely different culture and living with a host family. They've helped me in ways that are indescribable and am already thinking of possible gifts as a token of my appreciation. One really good example was when I did laundry after coming back from training one day and ended up having to hang my clothes outside overnight...unfortunately, the winds started to pick up and it was supposed to rain so I had to cram all my wet clothes inside my hut. The next morning, my host dad asks for my clothes to hang while I'm gone for the day...I come back home later that afternoon to find a row of my underwear hanging on a line in the middle of our family compound!
Abdulaziz and I with my line of underwear. Loves it.
Plus, I was thinking of bringing food from Ouahigouya one day and making a meal! My Mom and Dad sent me a pretty big package filled with goodies (chocolate, snacks (Goldfishes and Cheez-Its!!), other necessities) from the US so I feel a little spoiled everytime I eat some of them. But I figured it would be a good gift to give to my host family. Man, I'm going to miss them!
And on a completely unrelated note, I heard that on the show 'Jon and Kate Plus 8,' they split up...whaaat?! Kate is living with the kids and Jon is living in a bachelor's pad in NYC. MAN.